To the Editor:
Sixteen years ago this summer, Lazarus House was founded when the truth of homelessness within our cities was revealed. Through the leadership of founding director Darlene Marcusson, we learned together that the people we saw sleeping on park benches during the summer months were not from far away places, but rather were our neighbors who found themselves returning to the safety of their own community the months shelters in other cities closed.
Since that time, we have grown to a comprehensive program that not only shelters the homeless, but also tirelessly administers services and resources directed at preventing families from ever facing homelessness to begin with. In partnership with over 50 medical, educational, counseling, domestic violence, mental health and substance-abuse agencies, Lazarus House is privileged to offer a “hand up rather than a hand out” to those struggling the most. We are a referral source for those seeking information on where to turn when it feels there is no place. We are a soup kitchen for those living on their own but lacking funds for food after rent, utilities and other bills are paid.
What is most profound about Lazarus House is you. You have blessed this ministry by every hour volunteered, meal cooked, bottle of soap donated and – of course – dollar given. You have blessed our communities with a safe and caring home for those with none. Newborn babies, 23-year-old sons, 83-year-old women and so many more have all called Lazarus House home.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, you are invited to come and see all the good you have done at our annual open house. At 11:30 a.m., we will have a brief re-dedication ceremony honoring the 10-year anniversary of our Center for Transitional Living, one of three programs offering hope and a future to those coming through our doors. Please join us at 214 Walnut St. in downtown St. Charles.
Thank you central and rural Kane County for your care and compassion, which have become this “Miracle on Walnut Street” known as Lazarus House.
Executive director of Lazarus House